Friday, April 29, 2016

First Trip to Blue Sun Soda

This morning, my boys and I stopped by Blue Sun Soda in the north metro (it's just a bit west of the 35E/35W split along Hwy 10). I got the boys some treats, and Daddy got a case of soda. Here are some photos:

Blue Sun Soda Shop
My 4-year-old sitting out front.

Blue Sun Soda Shop

This is a great idea! We grabbed a small bag for the boys to share on the way out.

Favorites from the staff.

Blue Sun Soda Shop
Strolling through the taffy. We were going to get some for my wife.

Wait, aren't candy cigarettes banned in MN? I thought that's
why "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store" was in the news a few years back.

Blue Sun Soda Shop
SODA!!!

Blue Sun Soda Shop
Some Orange soda.

Blue Sun Soda Shop
Root beer to the right, and cola to the left.

Blue Sun Soda Shop
This is all MN made Whistler Soda. I didn't get any, but I need to try some SOON.

Blue Sun Soda Shop
Two FREE pinball machines!  This is the first time Henry played!

This was in the front of the store. Sweet!

Blue Sun Soda Shop
Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer.

Some gross novelty flavors.

Random flavors.

There were 2 younger guys working there, and they were super helpful and nice. Some of the first reviews I read after Blue Sun had opened noted problems with the staff, but these guys were great. My only complaint is super minor, and it's seen in that last photo: some of the more random flavors were just arranged by color. There could be a "novelty" soda section, but instead they were scattered a bit. Not too big of a deal, but that's seriously my only complaint with the place.


My 1-year-old and 4-year-old teaming up on a free pinball machine.

I got a few of these. Look for a review of this coming in the next few weeks.

Blue Sun Soda Shop
Charlie running between the lemon lime and grape sodas.

Charlie got a big sucker that he enjoyed on the way home (along with some of the free popcorn).

Henry got his first package of Pop Rocks!  He was excited to try them.

He giggled and smiled as the Pop Rocks fizzled in his mouth.

Those photos above were taken as we were sitting in their parking lot. We drove home as the boys enjoyed their snacks.


When we got home, I thought Charlie had broken out in a rash.
Turns out, it was just sticky sucker residue.

More cherry stickiness on his face.

Our candy stash: some Pez, some taffy for my wife, some Cow Tails (which are my favorite),
and Henry's mostly-eatan Pop Rocks. (This doesn't include Charlie's sucker or our free popcorn.)

My soda stash: over half root beer, nearly 1/4 black cherry, and the rest are random flavors.

Check out Blue Sun Soda on Facebook, and stop in sometime. I know we'll be back!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Mr. Cola

I needed a caffeine kick the other afternoon, so I grabbed this:

Mr. Cola


Brand: Mr. Cola.

Origin: Mukilteo, WA.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This didn't stand out as anything AMAZING, but it was a decent cola. There was a slightly fruity hint to this, but otherwise, it was your standard cola. Good.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gene Autry Root Beer

After teasing Rocket Fizz about some horrible sodas in a post last week, I thought I'd try one of those sodas that actually sounded promising...

Gene Autry Root Beer


Brand: Gene Autry Root Beer.

Origin: Camarillo, CA.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This smelled like classic root beer, but had a bit too much anise flavor for me. It had a nice amount of vanilla. It didn't really have a bite, but it wasn't smooth either. It was "generically" OK, but (in my opinion) needed to be a bit smoother.

Score: 4 out of 10.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Jones Strawberry Lime Soda

I enjoyed this (with some pizza) the other night:

Jones Strawberry Lime Soda


Brand: Jones Strawberry Lime Soda.

Origin: Seattle, WA.

Purchase Place: Frattallone's Ace Hardware, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Inverted Cane Sugar.

Review: Let it be known that "strawberry lime" would never be my first choice for a soda flavor. But this one was done well. Each sip started with the sweetness and smoothness of strawberry, and then ended with a little tart "kick" of lime. It was a nice balance.

Score: 7 out of 10.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Four Worst Sodas at Rocket Fizz

I found an article about a new Rocket Fizz store opening up in Portland OR. It's 3 years old, but it's written so hilariously snarky that I had to share it. Here are 2 great opening quotes of his first impression of the store:

They've got a massive selection organized on the "fuck it" system (the first and less prestigious invention of Dewey behind his eponymous Decimal system).
I considered the Snooki soda, but assumed it would be meatball flavor.

He went on to review these 4 sodas:

Ranch Dressing, Buffalo Wing, Coffee, and Bacon Soda
Ranch Dressing, Buffalo Wing, Coffee, and Bacon Soda in his apartment.

I've seen all of those, but I've never considered the coffee soda because I don't like coffee. I've been scared to try the ranch or buffalo wing because I HAVE had the bacon soda, and it was horrible. (In fact, in my review of it, I noted that it had the saltiness and smokiness of a "hairy, sweaty, Russian man.") Here were his 4 reviews of these novelty sodas:

Coffee Soda
I started here because it seemed the closest to a thing somebody might actually want. And I was right. It tastes nothing like coffee but was thoroughly delicious. More like a creamy root beer float. A good start. Maybe everything will be this good! (Spoiler alert: no)

Bacon Soda
It's been 10 years I've had bacon, but non-vegetarians like to remind me that it's delicious. So maybe the "artificial bacon" flavor in my soda will be an awesome experience I can enjoy while still maintaining my moral superiority at the breakfast table. Also it sounds like "baking soda" which is fun. Bacon soda... is not fun. It's got a wafting chemical smell, like chlorine or something, and tastes much the same. It has a slight aftertaste of meatiness, and a duringtaste of pure awfulness. It tasted less like a soda with bacon flavor and more like drinking the water out of a hot tub after a bunch of pigs just finished relaxing in it. Do not buy or consume this product if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or was the product of a human pregnancy.

Buffalo Wing Soda
This seemed like the most outlandish flavor choice, so maybe it'll be the best? Actually, Buffalo Wing Soda tastes okay. I didn't detect the tiniest hint of buffalo sauce and the orange color tricked my brain into thinking it tasted like orange cream. I wouldn't really recommend this, unless you wanted a vague flavor and a funny label. If not, just buy an orange cream soda.

Ranch Dressing Soda
And the big finish... ranch dressing. Just popping off the cap revealed a nauseating smell that, an hour later, hasn't entirely left my apartment. There was a vague sense that I was drinking something ranch flavored, but it had such a strong chemically taste I was pretty sure this was ranch's evil robot twin. It tasted more like an industrial byproduct than a delicious mix of sour cream and herbs, like it was extruded from the ranch-sands of Canada. I was able to drink the least of this one and I even felt guilty pouring this one down the drain for fear it would end up in the river and a fish would take a sip and instantly vomit.

Bonus: Buffalo Wing (soda) dipped in Ranch Dressing (soda)
Since these flavors are frequently combined, I thought I'd try it.
Result: NOT BETTER.

Click here for the full article. This has me wanting to try the coffee soda, so maybe I'll have to grab that once "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store" opens up for the season.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Berghoff Black Cherry Soda

I really enjoyed Berghoff Root Beer nearly 3 years ago, so I had high hopes for their Black Cherry:

Berghoff Black Cherry Soda


Brand: Berghoff Black Cherry Soda.

Origin: Chicago, IL.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: From the first sip, I knew it was a unique black cherry soda. But I wasn't sure if I loved it right away. It was a little creamier than I would hope from a black cherry soda. It was definitely more like a "cream soda" than a "cola." In the end, I never fully got over the creaminess. It was OK, and you'd like it if you were in the mood for a cherry *cream* soda, but I'll give it just an average score.

Score: 5 out of 10.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Best Damn Root Beer

I've been seeing billboards like this around the Metro area for the last 2 months or so:

Best Damn Root Beer


My wife and I were at the liquor store a few nights ago, and we saw a 6-pack, so we picked it up so I could try it.

Best Damn Root Beer 6-pack

Best Damn Root Beer


If you're wondering, YES it's "hard" root beer. It's 5.5% alcohol.


Brand: Best Damn Root Beer.

Origin: St. Louis, MO.

Purchase Place: Marshall Liquors, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Nothing? I'm unsure on this. (Beer is labeled much differently than soda, and everyone online is mentioning they can't find an ingredients list for this.)

Review: It smelled good. The first sip had GOOD (classic) root beer flavor on my tongue. But then the yeastiness of the beer took over, and it ended with not a great flavor. There was a nice amount of vanilla flavor (and on the can it mentions that it's "ale aged on vanilla beans"), but that didn't make up for much. It was an odd flavor combo of root beer and beer that I didn't care for at all. The beer added a strange "bite" to the root beer.

I'm not a big beer fan, so that may be why I was less interested in this. But even on Beer Advocate, it's not getting good reviews and is currently ranked "poor" at 68 out of 100. One reviewer said "it tasted like someone took a cheap light beer and squirted some of that artificial "rootbeer-barrel candy" flavoring into it."

My wife mentioned it could make a good root beer float, so I may have to try that with some of the remaining 5 cans. The Best Damn Root Beer website has some recipes on it, so we might have to give a few of those a try. I'll update if/when I do. But for the time being, this score is just based on the Best Damn Root Beer by itself.

Score: 2.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Goody Red Pop

I brought this to a board meeting last night:

Goody Red Pop


Brand: Goody Red Pop.

Origin: Mukilteo, WA.

Purchase Place: "Frattallone's Ace Hardware," St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar.

Review: I didn't know what flavor "red" was. But it was very bubble-gum-esque. It was a bit too sugary, and tasted like a kids drink. But I guess that was too be expected. Not bad, but just not stellar either.

Score: 5 out of 10.